Now a slow pendulum breathes an intuitive pulse into the days. Sun up; gathering wood generates warmth to ward off the early chill. Acquired appetite for breakfast directs me to the outdoor kitchen. Eggs, tomatoes, wild asparagus and coffee. Ecstasy as my blood sugars rise. Light in metallic notes from spoons, and all the reflective surfaces…. little glints that fuse into a chorus to marry with the birdsong and the growing heat that pulls fresh aromas from damp soil.
Sequestered between the roots of an ancient olive tree I have called a truce on my own action and watch ants meet and greet from their lines. The hours pass. Oranges summon me to satisfy thirst. My limbs transfer to the trees to gather armful after armful as though another distant part of me initiated movement. Then from a new roof top vista I am absorbed into the landscape. Into the shapes of trees across the valley. Their individuality and their tidy rows. Colour and light. Form and shadow. Sound and silence. I stay until the heat is too much and hunger is saying it is noon. I prepare lunch. It takes all day to live, eat, wash, walk and gather, rest and play.
The shadows are turning and lengthening as the sun departs, setting a golden flame in the branches of the almond trees. Now it is time to use the last of the fading light to collect the morning’s wood harvest and light the wood burner. Candles light the kitchen for supper and my diary entry. The sun passes his lantern to the moon who conceals it behind the hill. In the sky above it, the light intensifies with maddening slowness until a tight curl of silver breaks over the rim. The suspense is broken. I watch her rise until the lower curve of the full moon’s circumference is poised upon crest of the hillside and from there she beams, cool upon my face to roll us into the night. I had been riveted to the spot for nearly 2 hours and am suddenly perished.
Even in Sicily the temperature has dropped but the wood burner has warmed my bedroom. At last I relinquish my outdoor theatre and exchange my rugs for a duvet and hot water bottle. Here in the traditional older buildings there is more air circulating. My bed is warm and dry. A cool draught flutters like a baroque flute, whispering arabesques around my head. I drift in the pre-sleep moments…. partially conscious and out-of-body, seeing myself from the willow ceiling rushes and unable to distinguish where my limbs join…. is my head attached? which way round am I? I must paint this sensory trance-dismemberment tomorrow. I am omni present; expanded into a trillion particles of melody that pirouette through the valley and around my room.
Suddenly my mass has condensed and I thud back into the bed with a shock of solidity. I wake and shrink back to myself and the chill of being enclosed, alone in a room and a huge area of land. I crave the safety of being outside and not penned within four walls. If anyone intrudes now I will not be able to get out. They will know I am here by the candle light in the windows. My heart thumps as I get up. I close all the shutters so that it is as black as a Welsh coal mine. A velvet-dark lullaby. Sleep descends and closes me down for the night.